• Pere Noël-Father Christmas-Santa Clause at the Bastille, Paris, France
    Christmas,  Let's Explore

    Father Christmas at the Bastille in Paris

    One day walking through the Bastille plaza, I saw the Christmas trees being set up around the green July column. By the next evening, purple was once again the sparkling color lighting up the Bastille July column. For the Christmas holiday, Pere Noël was riding the merry-go-round and another day he was dancing with a marching band. Every day is different in the Bastille!

  • View from Louis XIII statue Place des Vosges on Vik Muniz's Pictures of Garbage
    Photography-Art,  Seeing Paris

    Paris Design Week is Too Short!

    While taking a shortcut through Place des Vosges, my eyes saw photographs. They really saw pictures of garbage. Place des Vosges is on annual exhibition circuit for Paris Design Week. Paris Design Week is too short! Over 350 exhibitors and I only saw three in two days! "Pictures of Garbage", new types of flooring in a bench display, and artsy designs in the Orangerie. You can't just pass on by, you have to stay and study and enjoy!

  • A Snow day in Paris Snowman at the Louvre Carrousel
    Photography-Art,  Specific Info

    A Day in Paris When It Snowed

    One day last week the blackbirds (merles in French) were chirping away in a choral cacophony of song at at 5:30 am. I wondered if springtime was around the corner -- in mid-January! That springtime moment was short-lived. Thirty-two departments, including Paris and Ile-de-France, were placed under snow warnings. Saturday was going to be a snow day in Paris. Météo-France and our Echo-dot, Alexa, confirmed that the snow would begin by 11 am Saturday.

  • Galeries Lafayette Christmas decorations customers on the plank
    Christmas,  Going Out

    Noël Voyage in Paris

    Paris Sparkles during the Holidays. Take a Paris Voyage with Colleen's Paris on small street of the Bastille, the department store decorations and rooftops, watch the lights come up on the Champs-Elysées and see Avenue Montaigne lit up, a carrousel in the Tuileries Garden and be mystified at the blue velvet column of the Bastille. 

  • Let's Explore,  Specialty shops

    Artisanal Shop Brings New Flavours to the Bastille

    On my way to the oriental pastry shop Diamande along the Rue Sedaine in the Bastille, I noticed a new just-opened épicerie. I was tempted to stop for a glass of wine on its terrace (i.e., the sidewalk). When I walked into the shop, the man behind the counter looked familiar even behind his mask: the eyes, the Tintin-spiked haircut. “You resemble someone”, I said. “Who”? he asked. I proceeded to say the television personality who visits French producers and chefs riding up on his red and white checkered tricycle. Bingo! Voilà! Loïc Ballet and his childhood friend, Elodie Charras have opened an artisanal shop selling products (condiments, wine, cheese, charcuterie, oils,…

  • image of the Boucherie Bruno Marché Bastille
    Billet d'Humeur/At a Glance,  Life in Paris & France

    Paris Markets Wrapped in Plastic

    Life at the Parisian market has taken on a new form. The market is wrapped in plastic wrap. I could only look on. The scene was very surrealistic. On May 13 the markets reopened with new sanitary guidelines. The last time I visited the Bastille Market at Boulevard Richard Lenoir was March 22. Plastic crates separated the shoppers to provide distance. On March 23, the Mayor's office closed all outdoor and indoor markets. The ban did not include the grocery stores. Who needs a straw shopping basket ("panier") to carry around anymore? Market shopping is now available online for home delivery. The delivery order goes through Mayor's Office website, takes…

  • painting of à la Petite Fabrique
    Chocolate, Sweets & Bakeries,  Life in Paris & France

    Saying Goodbye to Icons in the Bastille Neighborhood

    Living in a small neighborhood of the Bastille, the hardest phrases to hear over the last year have been: "We're closing and retiring" and "They have sold the shop for their retirement": Holmes, the stationery store, and now à la Petite Fabrique, the chocolate factory. Holmes was transformed into an upscale Italian restaurant and word is that Alain Ducasse is buying the Petite Fabrique.... The neighborhood in the area of Hugo's Les Miserables and the French Revolution has gone upscale.

  • Please do not touch the lettuce written on a blackboard
    Food, Drink & Health,  Shopping,  Specialty shops

    Paris Food Markets

    Food Markets in Paris Visit the Paris Mayor’s market page for opening times or click on the market basket on the home page. The day and hours information is kept current. Key words to understand from the Paris Mayor’s market page: réouverture = reopens 06eme = 6th arrondissement (75006) 05eme = 5th arrondissement (75005) 1er = 1st arrondissement (75001) Marché aux fleurs et aux oiseaux Cité = Flower and bird market Ile de la Cité demain = tomorrow The market links are in real time. Aujourd’hui (today), Demain (tomorrow) and the next day of the week … If you see Fermé in red, this means there is no market.  Click…

  • Paris snow December 9, 2010, Genie of liberty, Bastille
    Let's Explore,  Seeing Paris

    December Snow Storm In Paris

    Paris was paralyzed on December 9, 2010. Small trucks at Place Pigalle were spinning their tires. Men had to get out and push them through the stop lights. The roads were full of ice. The buses could not move because the cars could not move. The city was falling apart! The finger pointing started almost immediately. The debates were in full swing on radio and television whether or not Metéo France had given sufficient warnings (they had)! Television weather people were interviewed about their presentations. Aeroports de Paris (ADP) had to refute the claim of unpreparedness. Ile-de-France was being attacked by giant snow flakes! The snow arrived during late morning…